There are two main enemies to your roof and attic space, moisture accumulation and the build-up of heat. If these two culprits go unchecked, they can cause all kinds of havoc on your home’s roof structure including premature deterioration of the roof materials and the structure itself. This can increase your energy costs plus create the need to replace your roof earlier than normal. To help avoid these issues, it is important to ensure you have proper attic ventilation. When you have an effective roof ventilation system, the air moves in a well-balanced pattern which results in a more uniformly cooled attic space. This will help to prolong the life of your roof, increase the comfort within your living space, and reduce wear and tear on your heating and cooling systems.
Types of Attic Ventilation
Frequently referred to as “whirlybirds”, these are a passive way to ventilate an attic. They work by moving due to the convection of air rising then leaving the attic. When the wind blows it will then draw out the air from the attic. These are lower-cost options to that of a ridge vent and can be easily added on if you find you need more ventilation once roof work has been completed. These are great for smaller-sized attics.
These vents are placed along the ridge of a roof. Like the wind turbines, these vents also use convection to draw air up and out from the lower soffit vents. These naturally flow the air up to escape along the ridge of the roof. For homes in Maryland, ridge vents are sufficient in removing heat and moisture from the attic for the majority of the year. However, in the really hot months, like August, these alone are not enough to cool the attic. Therefore, the addition of an active form of attic ventilation, an attic fan for example, is ideal to manage these conditions all year long.
Soffit (eave vents) are what feeds air into the attic which all attic ventilation strategies need in order to circulate the warm/moist air up and out of the attic. For these to work properly however, baffles need to be installed on the inside of the attic to keep insulation or any other materials from airflow being blocked from these vents.
For an active ventilation method attic fans are great! They do consume some electricity and a temperature/humidity switch controls them. For Maryland homes, this really is the best strategy. Attic fans work all year to remove heat and moisture from your attic.
Proper attic and roof ventilation are crucial for your energy efficiency, to keep your home safe, and reducing premature roof replacement. Not sure if your attic is properly ventilated? Contact Columbia, MD’s attic insulation and roofing experts at Horizons Unlimited Home Improvements, Inc today at 800-673-3034 for a FREE, NO OBLIGATION Estimate!